Sunday, August 26, 2007

The Value of Flashing

The value of writing flash fiction, I should've said in the title. This week, I decided to try my hand again with several flash fiction exercises and found I really enjoyed tightening my prose down to the requisite number of words. I think it's an excellent way to improve your writing in the general case as you really don't know how many wasted words you include in your work if you don't care about the word count.

As a result, I've been editing some of my short stories, trying to apply what I've learned from the flash piece editing as well as what some of my loyal reader-critics have been telling me. All this is critical now because when it comes time to start assembling the book (around November 1st), I don't want to spent two months editing again. I'd rather make one final pass through the chosen stories and poems, then spend most of my energy actually creating the book.

I'm still working on my unfinished short stories right now as well as Novel #5. In the latter work, I've started to fill in a calendar so I can better map out the timeline. This way, I won't get confused in the plot nor will the reader (hopefully).

The rest of the time I've been updating my two new fiction blogs. They've been a lot of fun because I've just opened up my mind and let my imagination pour out unto the electronic medium. I'm hoping to get some feedback on both of those to make sure I'm just not writing for myself. This time I'm looking for an audience :-)

And on that note, I'll close out this post for the evening. As always, I hope your week will be a creative one!


Sunday, August 19, 2007

Blogging for Fun

Once again, in the category of "I don't have enough to do, do I?" comes two new blogs I started this past week. Both of them are fictionalized accounts to from the viewpoint of a made-up narrator.

The first one is called "Jimmy's Pizza Connection," the story of a non-existent pizza joint in the non-existent town of Lester, MA as told by Sal Palmeri. The blog description says "Welcome to Jimmy's Pizza Connection©, the friendliest pizza place in all of Lester, Massachusetts!" You can find it at

The second one is entitled "Across the Narrow Divide" and tells the story of Steve Bolin who plans to travel across the USA and tell stories of America and Americans (a la Steinbeck in Travels With Charley, to name one in the genre). The blog description for this one says "
One man's fictional trip across the USA to meet the people, see the sights and discover the hidden treasures of America. You may read this one at

Jimmy's was born of a longing for further tales in this mythical town by a character I enjoyed on an internet forum. The writer had a really good hang of satire for a while, but eventually lost his way. I decided to come up with my own situation to write about.

The travel blog actually started out as an idea I had for a long time for a book. I always loved books such as Blue Highways, but never have been able to take such a long time away from working to actually do it. This blog is the next best thing.

Meanwhile, I'm still working on my latest short story called "Family Obligations." I'm still editing some of my more recent short stories, thanks to input from some very helpful writer friends. Also, I had an idea for a short story this morning that I can't wait to write tentatively titled "A Look Back."

Besides the story writing, I've recently written a few poems that I think are passable (and a couple that were just experiments).

No further work on Novel #5 this past week. I hope to make some headway with it this coming week.

That's all from here. I hope you have a creative week and if you have any thoughts on my new blogs, please feel free to comment on them.



Sunday, August 12, 2007

Scenes from Real Life

I didn't get much writing done at all this past week due to the death of my father-in-law and all the traveling and such that was involved going back to Indiana and returning to LA. Things should be back to normal this week, I hope.

I did collect a large amount of material for future writing, that's for sure. I met a number of interesting characters and saw some very interesting sights which will definitely play a role in something I write.

I did start to write a new short story based on some of my experiences this past month. It's called "Family Obligations" and it promises to be full of many ironic twists and turns (I hope).

Meanwhile, I'm getting fantastic feedback on some of my other short stories from my editors, which is extremely helpful. What I discovered is I write what I like to read, but because I have such unique tastes, I may be writing for an audience of one sometimes. Part of developing as a writer is to write in a manner most appealing for the general reader and accepting you may not be the target audience to whom you're trying to appeal.

One thing I do know is I have a lot more to write and not an infinite amount of time to do it all. I'm hoping my production picks up now that our current family crisis is behind us and the long awaited (and dreaded) family reunion is off the table.

Until next time, I wish you all the creativity you can muster.


Sunday, August 5, 2007


There's not a lot to report this week on the writing front, at least worthwhile enough to blog. I penned a couple of poems to get the juices flowing. I finished edits on my latest three short stories and I now have my trusty editors hacking them to shreds (go, hackers!).

The next editing assignment I'm going to tackle is my screenplay, Doc On Loan. Yes, I'm procrastinating and for "good" reason, too. (sigh) It's never easy killing your darlings (as the saying goes). I have to get through this, though, do I can move on to the next one. They new scripts are chomping at the bit to get written!

Meanwhile, I've been working on Novel #5 and it wasn't until this weekend that the whole thing (sort of) came together for me. Now it's a matter of laying out the scenes and continuing the writing.

On the reading front, I've been consuming Janet Evanovich's "Stephanie Plum" novels. They are breezy reading and have the same tone as I'm trying to capture with Novel #5.

So, this is a short post this week. I have a sofa with my name on it and I'm planning on napping as soon as I finish typing this. Until next week, then, keep being creative!